Total money lost $3,000
Type of a scam Employment
There is a "publishing consultant", as he now markets himself, going under the name Realmwalker Publishing based out of 13290 W. Mill Rd. Malcolm, NE 68402. The "owner" of this company calls himself James Drake although he also uses the name Lee Aarons. His modus operandi is that, after joining several author’s groups via Facebook, he contacts self-publishing authors via private message requesting either samples or complete works by the targeted author. He then signs them to an exclusive contract, with the author signing over book rights to Drake. Over the course of months, he maintains contact with "his" authors on a fairly regular basis, reporting various activities he claims to have completed i.e. getting the author’s books into major book stores such as Barnes & Noble and Indigo Bridge. He also claims that Indigo Bridge is affiliated with Indigo Chapters Canada and can get the book released throughout the U.S. and Canada. I have since learned that Indigo Bridge not only has never heard of Drake but Indigo Bridge is in no way affiliated with Indigo Chapters Canada.
A few weeks ago, in a group chat where issues regarding payment and product was being discussed, he claimed that he was in way over his head and that he was returning the publishing rights to each individual author and they could hire him as a consultant. He sent payment schedules to each author, offering various forms of payment i.e. bank transfer, Paypal, Western Union, personal check, etc. To date, the vast majority of authors have yet to receive payment. In some cases, the personal checks have bounced.
Thru various conversations between the authors, it was discovered that this is not the first time he’s pulled this scam. It seems he brings on a group of authors, sends the book to Ingram and Amazon then receives payment from Ingram and Amazon. Instead of passing the money to the rightful owner (the author) he seems to be using the current group to pay the previous group as he most likely spent the money. As I said, this is not the first time he’s pulled this scam. Drake has also claimed that he is no longer taking on new authors however, within days after announcing he was no longer acting as publisher, he has started actively recruiting people who he doesn’t realize are aware of his scam, looking to create yet another new group so he can use their income to pay for the previous group. Knowing there was a group of authors that have already been thru this with him, it appears that he’s using the money generated by book sales from group B (the most current group) to pay group A and now is attempting to recruit group C to pay those in group B that are yelling the loudest. I’m certain his has no intention of paying each and every author as there are authors in group A that still haven’t been paid 2 years later.